SUPERFOODS FOR SUPER KIDS
Replace the ‘sloth foods’ with yummy ‘super foods’! Super foods are plant-based foods with powerful nutrients and unique characteristics that are beneficial to health. Our children currently live in a ‘white food’ generation, where diets mainly consist of processed grains and dairy foods, but are absent in super plant foods.
Let’s explore a few super foods that will give your family greater vibrancy and better health.
Give your children some natural chocolate energy! The Cacao bean is what chocolate is made from, but cacao powder should not be confused with the more processed, less beneficial cocoa powder. With a yummy chocolatey flavour, Cacao powder is very high in anti-aging, cardiovascular protective antioxidants. It contains many minerals but is notably high in magnesium, a natural muscle-relaxant and tonic to menstrual mums! Replace cocoa powder for cacao powder in all your chocolate recipes.
Raw honey has a notable history, having been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs, still edible. Known for helping skin irritations, as well as tummy upsets, raw honey has natural antimicrobial properties, which is why it does not easily spoil. Raw honey’s level of antioxidants and therapeutic nutrition is found proportional to its depth of colour. Replace ingredients calling for sugar with nutritious raw honey, but avoid processed honey, which has minimal nutritional value.
Chia seeds are tiny granules of power! They proffer the highest plant source of nourishing omega oils, contain soluble and insoluble fibre for healthy arteries and bowels, are a source of complete protein, and are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Basically tasteless, and forms a gel when mixed with water, chia seeds can be added to almost any meal.
Around the world, there are certain fruits that contain a superior quality of nutrients than others. For example, acai berries from South America have one of the highest rating of antioxidants for any berry in the world, and so offer children great protection against pollution and toxins, as well as extending wrinkle fighting benefits for mums and dads! Goji berries have been for thousands of years used by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to assist health and longevity. They are high in antioxidants, containing 18 amino acids, loaded with vitamins, minerals, and unique polysaccharides for immune system. The exotic Pomegranate fruit has constituents scientifically proven to fight some cancers. Avocados have beneficial oils, the highest protein content of any fruit, plus an amazing profile of nutrients. Other known super fruits are blueberries, mangosteens, papayas, and dark grapes. Available as whole fruits, powders or juice extracts, super fruits can be easily mixed into drinks and smoothies, or added to yoghurts or breakfast cereals.
For more scientific information in ‘super fruits’ grab a copy of Louise Elliott’s book ‘The Superfruit Juice Book’ here.
‘Super greens’ are the nourishing shoots of cereal grasses, such as wheat and barley. Freshly extracted, or obtained from a powder, super greens offer an abundance of nutrients, as well as provide a great detox. And at this time of year, kids will benefit from the extra playtime nutrients, and mums and dads would certainly appreciate digestive relief from clogging festive foods! Mix fresh extract or dried powder of cereal grasses with vegetable juices, or add to fruit juices and freeze into yummy ice blocks.
Sprouts are the first shoots arising from a plant’s seed. When eaten fresh, they are rich in digestible energy, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and phytochemical – all the nutrients necessary for the germinating plant to grow. Sprouts, such as alfalfa and mung beans, are rich in ‘life giving’ enzymes: these nutrients are absent from most ‘dead’, processed foods. Add sprouts to salads and sandwiches (even Vegemite sangas), or munch on as handfuls.
Onions and garlic
These herbaceous bulbs are widely studied for their ability to boost the immune system to fight off illnesses. Garlic and onions can be thought of as ‘protection foods’, as both have shown to have anti-cancer properties, and regular consumption can affect the liver to increase the body’s own production of antioxidants, which benefits protecting the cardiovascular system. Add some to your child’s regular diet to boost their daily immunity.
For more information and some recipes with ‘superfoods’, buy a copy of Louise Elliott’s book ‘The Superfruit Juice Book’ here.